Kinnettles Tea Garden, Angus
We welcome visitors ONLY by prior appointment.
Kinnettles Tea Tour
We warmly welcome you to visit our tea garden in Angus, located in a beautiful setting on our working family farm approximately 10 miles north of Dundee.
We produce limited quantities of Scotland’s first ever 100% pure black tea. This is hand-rolled from leaf plucked from our 9 year old bushes growing in polytunnels. In 2016 we rejuvenated our old walled garden by planting 4,000 Nepali tea seedlings that will be ready to produce tea by 2020 once the plants mature. This year a further half-acre of Georgian seedling tea is to be planted out to be ready to pluck in 2022.
The cost of a tour is £25 (plus vat) per head and the minimum tour size is 2 people. Our tour will take 2 hours and you will have the chance to see our tea, be shown how to pluck, see how the tea is rolled and learn about our Tea Gardens of Scotland project. There is also a tea tasting
Kinnettles Tea Adventures
Our tea adventure started in 2007 as a result of looking into diversification and reading an article about growing tea in Cornwall. Glossy pictures of plants identical to those we have here: rhododendrons, primulas, snowdrops encouraged us to think that if tea could grow in Cornwall, then why not here on our sandy, loamy acidic soils.
We purchased cuttings from Cornwall which we planted in the fields. High winds, winter frosts and snow were too much for their shallow root system so in 2010 we started again in polytunnels simply so we could get enough leaf to even know if we could grow and make beautiful tea. With consultancy help in 2015 we produced our first ever 100% pure black tea. Only 2 kgs but the first ever black tea to be grown and sold commercially in Scotland, retailing at £2500 per kg. Our tea is sold in Edinburgh through Pekoe Tea
In 2016 our Tea Gardens of Scotland group was formed and our walled garden, for which we had struggled to find a good use was pressed into action. In 2017, an acre of tea bushes (4000) grown from seed imported from high altitude Ilam District in Nepal were planted out. This year a further half acre of tea grown from seed from Georgia (ex Soviet) is going into the ground.
Although our whole arable farm is not organic, we farm our tea organically using liquid manures made from the vegetation around us, namely comfrey, dockens and nettles. These give the tea bushes the nitrogen, potassium and iron they flourish on, along with micronutrients that are easy to absorb and help the bush replenish from plucking during the spring and summer months.
Last year our total crop was 2.5Kg of made tea which means 12.5kg of green leaf was hand plucked from just under 300 bushes. Now as our project expands with our Tea Gardens of Scotland seedling tea, we will have 4300 bushes to pluck next year and 6300 the following year. We will start using some small scale machinery as making tea by hand from 300 bushes is workable, but 4000 bushes without the help of small scale machinery would be impossible!